The Year 2022 In 10 Significant Events Around The World
The Year 2022 In 10 Significant Events Around The World
The Year 2022 In Ten Significant Events Around The World
War in Ukraine, price inflation, weakening of the right to abortion in the United States… Overview of certain key events of the year 2022.
(Paris) Invasion of Ukraine by Russia, protests in Iran, questioning of the right to abortion in the United States: here are ten significant events of the year 2022 in the world.
Putin invades Ukraine
A destroyed sector of Ducha in Ukraine, April 2022
On February 24, Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, plunging the world into an unprecedented crisis since the end of the Cold War. Faced with NATO countries which show their support for Ukraine, the Russian president raises the specter of nuclear weapons, saying he is ready to use “all means” in his arsenal.
The war led to the largest influx of refugees into Europe since the end of World War II and claimed the lives of thousands of soldiers and civilians.
Putin – who claims to want to “denazify” Ukraine – finds himself very isolated diplomatically. The West inflicts economic sanctions on Russia, which have been tightened over time, while delivering arms to Ukraine, which also obtains EU candidate status.
Testimonies abound accusing the Russian army of abuses, including the killing of civilians, acts of torture and rape.
Russian troops give up at the start of the invasion to encircle the capital, Kyiv, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses world leaders daily to ask for their support.
The war also poses the threat of a global food crisis, due to the maritime blockade imposed by Russia in the Black Sea. An agreement reached in July allows Ukraine to gradually resume exporting its abundant grain production.
In September, Putin decreed the mobilization of some 300,000 reservists and signed the annexation of four Ukrainian territories occupied in the wake of “referendums”, while the Russian army accumulated setbacks on the ground.
After the abandonment of the Kharkiv region (its first capture), Moscow ordered the withdrawal of its forces from Kherson (south) at the beginning of November. Russia is launching hundreds of retaliatory strikes against Ukrainian energy networks, plunging millions of Ukrainians into darkness as winter approaches.
Inflation is driven by the energy crisis
Nord Stream pipes in Lubmin, Germany
The surge in prices, initiated in 2021 by the disorganization of distribution chains combined with strong demand for products and services essential to the recovery of economies after COVID-19, is accelerating in 2022 to reach levels not seen in decades. Inflation is expected to reach 8% in the fourth quarter in the G20 countries, weighing on growth around the world by pushing up production costs for companies.
It is fueled by the war in Ukraine which is plunging Europe into a deep energy crisis. Russia, under Western sanctions, multiplies the reprisals going so far as to strike the weak point of the EU: its dependence on Russian gas. Its gas exports, in particular to the very dependent Germany and Italy, are in free fall.
“The world economy is undergoing its most serious energy crisis since the 1970s”, points out the OECD.
The war also increases the price of cereals, and by extension the food of animals.
Due to ongoing health restrictions related to COVID-19, shortages of electronic chips, mostly made in Taiwan, are also slowing many sectors.
To control inflation, the US central bank has been aggressively raising its key rates since March, making borrowing increasingly expensive, with the European Central Bank following suit.
Reversal of abortion in the United States
A demonstration denouncing the weakening of the right to abortion in the United States, in Atlanta, Georgia, in May 2022
In June, the Supreme Court of the United States gives each state the freedom to ban abortions on their soil, burying the emblematic judgment “Roe v. Wade” of 1973. After this volte-face, some twenty states totally forbid or severely limit the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy, and this subject is essential among the themes of the campaign for the mid-term elections.
In November, these did not lead to the conservative “wave” that had been expected by supporters of former President Donald Trump. The Democrats retain control of the Senate, and the Republicans win only a narrow majority in the House of Representatives.
Despite everything, Donald Trump announces his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election. The battle for the Republican nomination promises to be bitter, with several other potential candidates, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a rising star on the right. tough American.
The candidacy of the ex-president could also be tainted by possible legal proceedings, a special prosecutor having been appointed in November to take care of two of the many investigations targeting him.
Political instability in the UK
Liz Truss and Boris Johnson, the two outgoing British Prime Ministers, on Remembrance Day
After a succession of scandals and an avalanche of resignations within his government, Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned in July. Liz Truss is officially named to succeed him in Downing Street by Queen Elizabeth II two days before the death, on September 8, of the sovereign, after 70 years of reign. On the 10th, Charles III was proclaimed king.
The shortest prime minister in the country’s modern history, Liz Truss lasted only 44 days before resigning in turn, has caused a political and financial crisis with her radical economic program.
Rishi Sunak comes to power at the end of October, in a period of unprecedented instability in the United Kingdom. He is Britain’s fifth prime minister since the Brexit referendum in 2016.
Immense challenges await the 42-year-old former banker and finance minister: inflation of more than 10%, declining health system… The end of the year is marked by a succession of strikes.
Extreme weather events
A sheep in Peru
The year 2022 will see an increase in disasters linked to global warming.
The summer was the hottest ever recorded in Europe, with record temperatures and heat waves causing drought and dramatic fires (more than 660,000 hectares of forest burned from January to mid-August in the EU, a record). The glaciers of the Alps are recording a record loss of ice mass.
At least 15,000 deaths are directly linked to this heat on the old continent, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
China is also breaking heat records in August, and drought threatens famine in the Horn of Africa.
Fires and deforestation reach new records in the Brazilian Amazon.
In Pakistan, historic floods linked to an extraordinary monsoon kill more than 1,700 people and displace eight million people while a third of the country is underwater.
If projections for this year are confirmed, the eight years from 2015 to 2022 will be the hottest on record, warns the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
After difficult negotiations, the UN climate conference (COP27) ends on November 20 in Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt) with a compromise on aid to poor countries affected by climate change, but also on a failure to set new ambitions for the reduction of greenhouse gases.
Anti-veil revolt harshly repressed in Iran
An opponent of the Iranian government, in September 2022
On September 16, Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, died in hospital, three days after her arrest by the morality police who accused her of having violated the dress code of the Islamic Republic, requiring women to wear a veil in public.
His death sparked a wave of protests across Iran, unprecedented since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Young women are at the forefront of the protest, some removing and burning their headscarves while defying the authorities on videos.
Demonstrations for women’s freedom are gradually turning into a broader movement against the Islamic regime, taking to the streets, universities, and even schools, despite the repression. The authorities report more than 300 dead, an NGO based in Norway lists at least 448.
At the beginning of December, the power made a gesture toward the demonstrators, by announcing the dissolution of the morality police.
China: coronation of Xi and contestation of “zero COVID-19”
Chinese President Xi Jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping is reappointed in October at the head of the Communist Party, on the occasion of the 20th Congress of the CPC, surrounding himself with loyal allies to become the most powerful leader of modern China.
For a decade at the head of the country, Xi Jinping displayed a desire for control, interfering in almost all the cogs of the country, and coming under international criticism on human rights.
It also maintains an exacerbated rivalry with the United States.
Tensions in the Taiwan Strait are at their highest level in years, following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-governing island in early August.
China is retaliating with land and sea military maneuvers unprecedented since the mid-1990s. And US President Joe Biden says his troops will defend Taiwan if the island were to be invaded by China.
The country’s “zero COVID-19” strategy, resulting in the confinement of neighborhoods or entire cities as soon as outbreaks appear, triggered demonstrations at the end of November on an unprecedented scale for decades. The authorities reacted by repression, but also by a relaxation of their health policy.
Contrasting Fates Of The Far Right
Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
After four years in power, Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro is narrowly beaten by left-wing icon Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the presidential election on October 30, after a poisonous campaign .
Lula, who had been in prison for corruption (2018-2019) before seeing his convictions overturned by the courts, will officially return to the top of the Brazilian state on January 1 , 2023. His success seems to confirm the return to power of the left in Latin America.
In Europe, on the other hand, the ultra-conservatives are reaping resounding successes in the legislative elections in several countries, starting in April with the fourth victory in a row for the party of Hungarian nationalist leader Viktor Orban.
In France, Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National (extreme right) made a historic breakthrough in June, becoming the leading opposition party in the National Assembly, where Head of State Emmanuel Macron lost an absolute majority.
The nationalist and anti-immigration party, the Democrats of Sweden (SD) is the big winner of the September elections, becoming the second political force in the country.
In Italy, Giorgia Meloni won a historic victory in September with her post-fascist party Fratelli d’Italia, and was named head of government in October.
Hope for peace in Ethiopia
Special forces officers from the Amhara region in Lalibela, in January 2022
After two years of conflict, the Ethiopian federal government and the rebel authorities of the Tigray region (north) signed on November 2 in Pretoria an agreement of “cessation of hostilities”, supposed to put an end to a war described by NGOs like the “one of the deadliest in the world”. After a five-month truce, fighting resumed at the end of August.
The conflict between Ethiopia, supported in particular by forces from neighboring Eritrea, and the rebel authorities in Tigray since November 2020 has been marked by possible crimes against humanity committed by “all parties” according to the UN. It displaced more than two million Ethiopians.
In addition to disarming the rebels, the peace agreement must in particular allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to Tigray, almost cut off from the world and whose six million inhabitants have been deprived of food and medicine for more than a year. The first aid convoy since late August arrives on 16 November.
Qatar slammed as FIFA World Cup host
FIFA President Gianni Infantino in November 2022
The organization of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar – from November 20 to December 18 – is causing a deluge of criticism of the small Gulf state.
The first Arab country to organize the event is questioned about the treatment of foreign workers, LGBTQ + people and women, or the air conditioning of its stadiums at the time of global warming.
The fate of migrant workers – essential cogs in a country where Qataris represent only 10% of a population of three million inhabitants – is singled out. Some media put forward the figure of thousands of deaths on the construction sites, a report that Doha denies, even brandishing the threat of legal proceedings in the face of criticism from Western Europe.
Following the threat of sporting sanctions by FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, no selection has its captain wear the anti-homophobia armband “One Love” when the tournament begins. The critics express themselves through a few symbolic gestures (gag mimed by the German players, European ministers wearing the rainbow armband in the stands), while the competition is in full swing.
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